This is apropos as I'm gathering supplies for an 8-day hike with my 14yo in two weeks. Yesterday, I went shopping specifically for the CANDY supplies... very important! :D We always take these particular gummy bears that I can only find in one store here in Ann Arbor, plus *dark* chocolate covered raisins and Scharffen Berger dark chocolate bars.
When my son was younger, he pretty much lived on peanut butter, Cheerios, jerky and MH Lasagna on the trail. We had "difficulties" with powdered milk, so breakfast was clumps of Cheerios glued together with peanut butter. Kids don't seem to need variety as much as adults; mine was perfectly happy eating the same breakfast, lunch and dinner 3-4 days in a row if it was something he liked.
The dinners that have worked the best for him usually involve some sort of noodles/pasta and that's still the case. We also gravitate toward soupy/wet meals; I think we like the extra hydration. Our favorites are pho (a Vietnamese noodle soup with rice noodles and beef chunks), chicken soup/stew with big egg noodles and vegies, udon (thick Japanese noodles in soup) and ramen. He also likes Italian-style pasta dishes, like the lasagne, spaghetti with sausage. I'm going to try to put together a carbonara/alredo pasta this year with shelf-stable bacon, chicken and asparagus. For ingredients, I dehydrate my own sauces, noodles, rice, vegetables, herbs and purchase freeze dried meats and some tricky ingredients like diced potatoes.
For lunch, he still likes jerky, peanut butter. I dehydrate crunchy salads and also take tuna fish, cheese. This year, because my son has become a non-stop eating machine, we're going to take a few extra quick dinners that he can have for lunch.
Breakfasts will be oatmeal and rice, rotating through maybe 3 different dishes. We also always take powdered Tang. It's the only time we drink Tang but, for some reason, we love it for breakfast on the trail.
Neither of us are big snackers. We always end up hiking out with leftover trailmix and such. We stopped taking granola bars or Cliff bars because we never ate them. I think we both think they're all too dry. We drink straight water while hiking but for "happy hour", he likes lemonade.
Up until this year, my son's food averaged 1LB per day packed. This year, I've allocated 1.5LB per day.